Washi in daily life
Washi in daily life >> （continued）
Shoji (sliding screens)
Often seen these days in temples and ryotei (traditional Japanese-style restaurants), shoji, or sliding screens, have been used in Japanese residences for centuries as partitions which can be opened and closed. Due to its high air permeability and low heat conductivity, washi is an excellent material for use in household fixtures, and shoji are normally used in autumn, winter, and spring. The pure and simple design of white washi on wooden frames symbolizes the traditional beauty of Japan.
Fusuma (sliding doors)and Karakami
Like shoji, fusuma, or sliding doors, are household fixtures used between autumn and spring. In times past, fusuma decorated in a variety of styles and themes, such as karakami (Chinese-style decoration), Yamato-e (medieval Japanese painting), and suiboku-ga (black-and-white India ink painting), were seen in the residences of nobles and samurai warriors and at temples and shrines, with each room having its own fusuma design. Paintings for these designs changed with the times, and today, modern fusuma can be found in a wide variety of styles.
Washi was indispensable in the development of Japanese woodblock printing. Made of long, finely matted fibers, washi holds up well against water and is therefore suitable for the watercolors used in such printing. Furthermore, the ground colors of washi influenced the coloring of kabuki-e and ukiyo-e, color prints illustrating everyday life in old Japan.
Kakejiku (hanging scrolls)
A kakejiku is a painting or calligraphic work mounted on a length of luxurious fabric or flexible backing paper, typically hung on the wall or in the tokonoma (room alcove) and used for appreciation or as part of the room's interior decoration. With the hyoso mounting technique, the work is affixed to several types of washi or cloth glued together. To integrate these materials into a flexible whole, it is important to use highly flexible washi; paper from Yoshino, Nara Prefecture, is often used because its fiber quality suits this purpose well.